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Nashville considers plan to make popular street more pedestrian, bike friendly

(WZTV)

Berry Hill, Metro Nashville, and TDOT officials are studying numerous changes to 8th Avenue South aimed at making the area more accessible for people who walk and bike.

The roadway is the location of new construction on both sides of the streets both commercial to residential. There are few sidewalks and crosswalks, but there is a lot of vehicle traffic.

Berry Hill officials first announced the project and it's in the early stages. If it passes, it will reduce 8th Avenue from four to two lanes with a center turn lane. The proposal would also add bike lanes.

The project stretches from Berry Road through Wedgewood Avenue and all the way to the 8th Avenue roundabout near the Music City Center.

Zanies Comedy Club did not comment but has signs opposing the plan on numerous windows.

Hunter Hartman, the general manager of Craft Brewed Nashville, is all for reducing vehicle traffic and increasing foot traffic in the area.

"This will become a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood whether people like it or not, and it's important to keep the safety of those pedestrians in mind," Hartman said. "By keeping 8th Avenue to four lanes, you're just rejected something that is bound to happen in this neighborhood eventually."

Austin Ray, owner of M.L. Rose and The Sutler, said he's in support of some much-needed changes on 8th Avenue South.

"As both a neighbor and the owner of three neighborhood-based establishments in 8th Ave/Melrose, I am supportive of planning that considers walk-ability as well as cars," Ray said. "While I am as sensitive to increasing traffic and drive times as anyone else, 8th Avenue is clearly a dangerous place to walk or ride a bicycle. To me, doing nothing to help the current situation is not an option."

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